Every year we try to visit the park two or three times during the winter and every year the park provides us with different kinds of wildlife. Last year there were Purple Finches and Pine Grosbeaks and the year before, Evening Grosbeaks and Great Grey Owls. There have been years with Crossbills and years with flocks of Pine Siskins. This year, none of those species were about. However, we did get to see a wonderful variety of wildlife. The Winter 2015 version.
We arrived Saturday morning and stayed throughout Monday and during this time we experienced a wide array of weather. Saturday was overcast, windy and cold. Although the temperature was only -18c, it was -33 with the wind chill factor. It warmed up overnight and by Sunday morning it was a 0c with a high of plus 2 during the day. The milder weather came with early morning wet snow that turned into a misty rain for most of the remaining day. Although it didn’t dampen our outdoor activities, it did limit our photo opportunities. Sunday evening weather was perfect. It was mild and calm. Perfect weather for a campfire and night time walks. The temperature dropped again during the night, but it was worth it as Monday was sunny and cool.
Although there was plenty of snow for skiing, snowshoeing and other winter activities, the amount of snow on the ground and on the trees was noticeably less than previous years.
We did enjoy some wildlife sightings. We had a Ruffed Grouse and a Pine Marten visit our Yurt campsite and came across a Snowshoe Hare in the Mew airfield. Common and Hoary Redpolls were at the VC feeder while a Bald Eagle flew over. Three Boreal Chickadees and a Black-backed Woodpecker were seen on the Spruce Bog Trail. Of course the regular park birds were about: Nuthatches, Rose and White-breasted, Blue and Grey Jays, Crows and Ravens and our faithful and friendly Black-capped Chickadees. And, of course, the feisty Red squirrels were everywhere.
It was so nice to be back in the park. There's nothing like spending a winter's eve around a campfire and then waking up to a hot morning coffee with the birds and squirrels. Being in nature always soothes the soul and brings us back to who we really are.